Alaska Common Ground
Winter 2017 Newsletter
Upcoming Events

Dear Members & Friends:

It's been an eventful 2017 so far--at both our state and federal levels--yet again reinforcing the need for Alaska Common Ground. While providing educational forums and opportunities to dialogue are critical strategies to achieve our mission, our intent is that they lead Alaskans to meaningfully engage in our democratic process. 

Democracy takes work. It requires that we all step up--ACG included. This is why we sent a letter to every one of Alaska's legislators at the start of the session in January urging them to adopt a broad-based fiscal plan this session. And why our Board Chair, Cliff Groh, has been in Juneau since mid-January providing educational forums. More on these stories below.

As for upcoming events, our Annual Membership Meeting will start at 5 pm on March 22nd at the Muse at the Anchorage Museum, we hope to see you there. If you attended our recent economic events or our climate change forum in 2015, you know that one of the prevailing themes was the importance of transportation to our economy. We have a series of events planned to examine this issue more closely from experts in the field. More details below. Mayor Berkowitz helped us spread the word at the Transportation Fair last week.

Finally, you may notice ACG's logo is slightly different these days. After many years, we decided it was time to modernize our look a bit. Our goal was to give a nod to the past while demonstrating we're as relevant as ever. We hope you like it. 

The Board of Alaska Common Ground

Save the Date!
ACG’s Annual Membership Meeting is on March 22nd starting at 5 pm at the Muse Restaurant at the Anchorage Museum.
We welcome all current and prospective members to join us to hear key updates on our activities and to meet our special guest, Rollin Stanley from the City of Calgary, who is kicking off our transportation series immediately following at 7 pm. We want to hear from our members, so please bring any ideas for future forum topics or other constructive feedback. We’ll provide appetizers; beverages and dinner are available for purchase. The business portion will start at 5:30 pm and end by 6:30 pm. Parking is available under the museum for a fee, or street parking is free after 6 pm.

ACG Urges Broad, Balanced Solution to Alaska Fiscal Crisis

By Taylor Brelsford

ACG has distinguished itself over the years as a source of incisive, unbiased information about the impending budget crisis in Alaska. In January 2017, the ACG Board concluded weeks of work in adopting a letter to Alaska Legislators highlighting the urgency of a broad-based fiscal plan during this session. Board members have also called and corresponded with a wide range of organizations to share our letter and to urge that they too contact the legislature regarding the fiscal crisis. Our efforts align with those of many organizations and Op-Ed writers seeking “bold action, galvanized by the needs of the next generation of Alaskans”. Click here to read the letter.

Update from the State Capital

By Cliff Groh

ACG put on seven fiscal events in Juneau open to the public during the first three weeks of the legislative session. The venues included the State Capitol, a conference room at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), an ice cream shop, and the back room of a sports bar.

The largest event was the Policymakers’ Fiscal Forum at the historic Red Dog Saloon, which drew 80-100 people. Five legislators—including the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, and the Co-Chair of the House Finance Committee—joined the Commissioner of Revenue and the Governor’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget to answer questions from each other and from the audience. That audience included at least four other legislators plus legislative staff members and officials from the administration and the Permanent Fund Corporation.

Coverage for the Policymakers’ Fiscal Forum included an article in the Juneau Empire, a three-minute story on the KTUU-TV evening newscast and Gavel Alaska rebroadcast the forum.

To read the rest of Cliff's update click here.

Transforming Transportation Education Series

Transportation is an issue that impacts us and our economy every day. Join us for a series of events to explore transportation in Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley. We’ll have an opportunity to learn from outstanding national and local experts on what is working in their cities and how to engage on this important issue with our policymakers. If you couldn’t join us last fall for one of our events at 49th State Brewing Company, check out a fun video here! You can download the event flyer here.

Rollin Stanley, General Manager Urban Strategy, City of Calgary

Wednesday, March 22nd, 7-9 pm
Anchorage Museum Auditorium, 625 C St
Free event. Suggested Donation, $10

Read more about Rollin Stanley here and check out his Tedx Talk on empowering the metropolis.

Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison Wisconsin

Wednesday, April 5th, 7-9 pm
Anchorage Museum Auditorium, 625 C St
Free event. Suggested Donation, $10

Read more about Mayor Soglin here and listen to him speak at a Fiscal Leadership Conference.

Panel Discussion: How does Transportation Planning Work and How do I Engage?

Tuesday, April 11th, 7-9 pm
49th State Brewing Company, 717 W 3rd Ave
Free event. Suggested Donation, $10

Panel Discussion: What We Have and What We Would Like: Public and Active Transportation

Tuesday, April 25th, 7-9 pm
49th State Brewing Company, 717 W 3rd Ave
Free event. Suggested Donation, $10

From Here to the Future: Policymakers' Panel

Tuesday, May 9th, 7-9 pm
49th State Brewing Company, 717 W 3rd Ave
Free event. Suggested Donation, $10

Call for Sponsorship Support

ACG is currently welcoming sponsorship support for our upcoming transportation series. Sponsorships of $250 or more are especially helpful but all donations received a week in advance of our first event on March 22nd will be recognized in our event materials. If you or your company would be interested in this opportunity, please contact Kari Gardey by March 15th at or 907-529-2265.

Would you like to become a new member or renew your membership? We would be honored to have your support! Renewal reminders will go out in April, but you are welcome to renew early by clicking here or in person at the Annual Meeting on March 22nd.

Step up to the Board!

ACG is seeking members to fill two vacant Board seats. We rely on Board members, other volunteers, and a part time staffer to achieve the organization’s mission. The Board meets at 6 pm on the third Wednesday of each month in the Stoel Reeves conference room, fifth floor of 510 L Street. Meetings are open to members and the public. If you have some time to spare and a passion for public policy issues, consider this opportunity to step up to the board.

For more information contact Elizabeth Nicolai.

Join Us!
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